Tajikistan to participate in SCO Peace Mission exercise in Kyrgyzstan

12/08/2016 16:49
Asia-Plus
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DUSHANBE, August 12, 2016, Asia-Plus – A task force of the Ministry of Defense of Tajikistan (MoD) will participate in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization anti-terrorism drill, dubbed Peace Mission 2016, which will take place in Kyrgyzstan’s western region of Issyk-Kul from September 6-13, Colonel Faridoun Mahmadalizoda, a spokesman for a MoD, told Asia-Plus in an interview.

According to him, Tajik task force will be led by Colonel Jahongir Nazaraiyev, the chief of the Staff of the Mobile Troops of the Tajik Defense Ministry.

SCO’s traditional biannual an-terrorism exercise, dubbed Peace Mission, has been conducted since 2007.  In 2007, the exercise was conducted in Russia.  Kazakhstan hosted the exercise in 2010, Tajikistan in 2012, and China in 2014.        

Meanwhile, the SCO Peace Mission exercises have always invoked skepticism among Western observers.  “Looking Towards The SCO Peace Mission 2016” by Daniel Urchick that was posted on the RealClearDefense’s website on July 16 notes the exercises have invoked skepticism among Western observers “due to their large scale and similarity to more traditionally defined military exercises.”  “This has largely been a classic case of mirror imaging in the West.  China and the SCO have traditionally held a much broader definition of terrorism than the West; labeling any actor with the potential to threaten the authority of the government “terrorist,” the article says, noting that the Peace Mission exercises remain an important but often ignored analytical opportunity for those seeking to understand the SCO, as well as China and its possible intentions as it continues to evolve on the world stage.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization currently has six full members -- China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.  Afghanistan, Belarus, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan are six observer states, and SCO’s dialogue partners include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Turkey.

The Organization’s six full members account for 60% of the land mass of Eurasia and its population is a quarter of the world's population.  With observer states included, its affiliates account for about half of the world's population.

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